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January 27, 2010

Continuing Medical Education: Let the Guessing Begin

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: RAND Health, Santa Monica, California.

JAMA. 2010;303(4):359-360. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.25

Patients expect their physicians to have the right answer every time. Does the testing process in medical school or the continuing medical education (CME) process increase the likelihood that patient expectations will be met?

A medical student finishing Step 1 or Step 2 examinations receives a score. The score reflects answers that the student knew, answers chosen by process of elimination, or answers the student guessed correctly. The Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program1 is an authoritative manual designed to update internists on the practice of medicine over the previous 3 years. Each section of the document ends with a series of multiple-choice questions. The physician selects responses and submits the answers to the American College of Physicians, which awards the CME credits.

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